Developer axes permit on hydro-kinetic project in Michigan

Current Connection LLC told the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Nov. 26 that it is giving up an about-to-expire preliminary permit on the 19.8-MW St. Clair River Hydrokinetic Project in the St. Clair River off of Michigan.

The commission issued Current Connection a three-year preliminary permit for this project in December 2010. “For the past three years we have done extensive studies, analysis and have absorbed considerable cost in an attempt to develop this site,” the company told FERC. “At this time we have determined that, based on additional funding requirements and the inherent risks associated in the commercialization of this project, the best solution is for Current Connection to relinquish the permit.”

In March 2010 Current Connection filed a permit application to study the feasibility of developing a hydrokinetic project to be located on the St. Clair River, in St. Clair County, Mich. Note that the east bank of the river is in Canada. In August 2010, Vortex Hydro Energy LLC filed a competing permit application for a project at the same site. FERC eventually approved Current Connection for the preliminary permit.

Current Connection’s proposed St. Clair River project would have consisted of:

  • the installation of 396 turbine-generating units which would be arranged in six turbine farms with each farm consisting of 11 turbine groups, containing six units each;
  • a control house containing control and synchronizing panels, power conditioning equipment, protective relaying, and communications equipment; and
  • a proposed 200-foot-long, 46-kV transmission line.

The total installed capacity of the project would have been 19.8 MW. The project was estimated to have an average annual generation of 155 gigawatt-hours.

A preliminary permit gives a party an exclusive right to explore project feasibility, with a license application then needed at FERC if the project moves forward from there.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.